The sublime SKYE WARREN is on tour with PRETTY WHEN YOU CRY, a beautifully dark romance that deals with sensitive subject matters. You won't be forgetting this story any time soon...
I came from a place of dirt floors and holy scriptures. They told me the world outside was full of sin, and the first night I escape, I find out it’s true. Ivan saves me, but he does more than that. He takes me. He makes me his own girl.
My conditioning runs too deep. Ivan sees what I am.That’s the thing about showing a mouse to a cat. He wants to play. And it’s terrifying, even for me. Because the only thing darker than my past is his.
Dark? No. Darker. Magnificent too. Painful in its intimate horrors, disturbing in the odd bond it creates with the reader's mind when it prods its fears and triggers.
Because Skye Waren's latest masterpiece will touch some part in everyone, no matter who you are.
I admit it's hard to digest. Religious cults, brainwash, blind devotion, and a lot of sexual situations that include non-consent, pain and submission. You might want to wear armour around your delicate soul for this one. It will help. No matter what, though, you'll want to read it.
This story delves into the darker recesses of the human psyche. What makes us free, what makes us powerful. With a haunting writing style, with that kind of sharp beauty only the pain of truth can bring, the author has imagined a suspenseful psychological thriller around the fleeing daughter of a cult and the perverted owner of a stripper club. They click together. They share twisted needs. Like a Beauty and the Beast fairy tale gone awry, they break and complete each other.
There are kinds of jailors in life. And this story is testament to that and to what extent people will react to gain freedom. Candace fights for it in extreme ways, ways that might be hard to understand but easy at the same time. Warren's heroines always go through hell to earn their part of heaven. Oh, Candace, she really lives hell. I was aghast with everything that she discovered, the secrets, the terrible circumstances of her upbringing. She's the true heroine of this story. Resilient, brave, she never gives up. Even when faced with a tough, almost unbreakable man.
Even beyond its darkness, this story is beautiful and shines with transformation and love.
I can never tire of Skye's imagination. It just calls to me.
READY FOR AN EXCERPT?
“Candace,” he says in the same deep voice of my dream.
And there’s a look in his eyes, the same look Leader Allen gives Mama. The same look he started giving me. That look is the reason Mama sent me away.
“You’ll stay here,” he says softly. “I don’t want you to dance, but you can stay.”
The allure of it beats through me, a heart of its own, thumping away to a dream that isn’t mine. Safety. Home. I want those things, but I want freedom more. I want the flash of lights and of skin. I want the power those women had onstage.
Ivan wants to put me in a cage, but what I really want is to fly.
“Okay,” I lie, because one sin becomes many. Leader Allen taught me that, and he was right. I’ll convince Ivan, though. One day I’ll dance on that stage, and Ivan will watch me.
One day he’ll teach me everything there is to know.
The praise washes over me, undeserved and darkly pleasurable, a stroke along my spine. It feels good, but I know what it is. A trap. A chain around my ankle to keep me on the ground. In this moment, it locks me so tight that I’d accept anything he did to me. If he were to touch me the way the woman with the kind eyes meant. The way Leader Allen touches Mama during prayer.
Ivan leans down, and I hold my breath. Large hands take hold of the blanket, lift slightly. I feel everything between us—anticipation and denial, lust and fear corded together. We feel them together, breathe them in through the air, pulse them with each beat of our hearts. It’s a kind of knowledge, this feeling, connecting a thousand nerve points to the core of my body. This is what he meant by teaching me. This and so much more.
Then he pulls the blanket higher, tucking it around me. “Good night,” he says, eyes glittering in the dark.
He is silver and light, made even brighter by the shadows behind him. It’s strange, the disappointment I feel that he isn’t going to touch me. He isn’t going to teach me. Not tonight. “Good night,” I whisper back.
Then he’s gone, shutting the door against the dark, locking me in. And I slide away into sleep, without dreams, without color, with only the shameless black of contentedness, knowing I am safe for the night.
Other books in the series
Tough Love (Stripped #0.5)
Love the way you Lie (Stripped #1)
Better when it Hurts (Stripped #2)
ABOUT THE MASTERMIND
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dark romance such as Wanderlust and Prisoner. Praised as a “true mistress of dark erotica”, her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Houston, Texas, with her loving family, three dogs, and one evil cat.
Read it with caution, book buddies, but do read it :o)